anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Posts Tagged ‘Writing

In the Footsteps of Creative Women

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I’ve always been drawn to the Southwest. Perhaps it’s because there are so many stark contrasts to my native Pacific Northwest. Lush, wet greens replaced by dusty pinks, light and dryness instead of wet grays. The reasons that I love the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest are also what drive me to seek out places elsewhere, not because I am trying to replace them, but because I am so inspired by the differences to be found elsewhere.

The colors of the sky, intense and dusty all at the same time. The smell of sage brought out by the heat of the sun. That feeling of the desert resonates with me, even though I’ve never lived there, and perhaps never will.

I am not the only one to have drawn inspiration from that landscape.

“I found out that the sunshine in New Mexico could do almost anything with one: make one well if one felt ill, or change a dark mood and lighten it. It entered into one’s deepest places and melted the thick, slow densities. It made one feel good. That is, alive.”

That’s a quote from Mabel Dodge Luhan, a woman with a colorful history who in the early 1900s made her way to Taos, New Mexico. She fell in love with Antonio Luhan, a Taos Pueblo Indian, and eventually they bought a plot of land and built a house on it. It started as a four-room adobe, but expanded to seventeen rooms, the Luhans wanting to create a space that was inviting to those with a creative spirit.

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Written by Anna Brones

February 19, 2018 at 07:32

Women’s Wisdom Project

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Going into this year, I knew that I wanted a bigger project to work on. A couple of months ago I had made a few papercuts inspired by the Unsung Heroines Instagram account, run by Molly Schiot, author of Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History. As I was working on those papercuts, going through an assortment of portrait photos and quotes for inspiration, I started thinking about all that the women of past and present have to offer. What insight do they have? What can they teach us?

I thought about a collection of papercuts, each done as a portrait of a woman, and paired with a quote of something that she had once written or said. The idea would be to compile the wisdom of many women through art.

And so the seed for the Women’s Wisdom Project was planted.

During the month of January, Kickstarter is running the Make 100 campaign, an initiative to focus on editions of 100. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to launch the Women’s Wisdom Project. Starting this month, I’m committing to making 100 papercuts this year, documenting a variety of amazing women and what we have to learn from them.

Over the course of the year, I am certain that the project will continue to develop (zine? book? calendar?) but this is a way for you to support in the initial stages, and if you are interested in doing so, you can check out the Kickstarter campaign here. There are limited edition cards and prints available as well as some other fun items.

Above is a papercut I made last week, in honor of Virginia Woolf’s birthday. “Once she knows how to read there’s only one thing you can teach her to believe in and that is herself,” Woolf wrote.

Women deserve to be heard, we deserve to have a voice. Hearing the voices of others also empowers us to find our own. This is why I want to create work to showcase women from around the world – and throughout history – and their wisdom.

Supporting this work means supporting the work of women throughout the ages and amplifying their voices. The project will honor women of the past and women of the present, and I would also like this project to inspire community support for women overall, encouraging people to support women’s work in their local communities.

Throughout the course of the project, I will highlight these stories and the artwork right here on my website, in my newsletter and on social media channels. You can check out #womenswisdomproject on Instagram.

I look forward to working on this project and to sharing it with all of you.

Written by Anna Brones

January 29, 2018 at 10:40

Adventure Journals

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What inspires you to get out and adventure?

That was the driving question behind this collection of three Adventure Journals, a special, limited edition collaboration with my friends over at Wylder Goods. Inspired by the pursuit of adventure – whether it’s a bike ride, a cup of coffee brewed outside, or a night under the stars – these journals are there to accompany you and provide a home for your thoughts, musings and ponderings.

They each feature one of my papercuts, and are printed by Scout Books in Portland, Oregon.

What makes these special:

  • 100% recycled Kraft cover!
  • 100% recycle white interior paper!
  • 100% awesome!

You can snag them in my shop or over on Wylder Goods.

Written by Anna Brones

June 30, 2017 at 14:31

“Write Like a Motherfucker” Notebook

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"Write Like a Motherfucker" notebook by Anna Brones

“Against the ruin of the world, there is only one defense—the creative act.”

– Kenneth Rexroth

As the new year kicks off, I have been thinking about the necessity of ideas and words. Without them, we are soulless, both individually and culturally.

At the end of last year, I made a papercut inspired by a line from Cheryl Strayed’s Dear Sugar column. I wanted to use it to inspire others to create, so over the holidays, I turned them into a notebook, printed by Scout Books. They’re meant to fuel all kinds of revolutionary ideas and writing.

They’re available in my shop now, and 10% of the proceeds goes to supporting PEN America, an organizations working to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide.

Written by Anna Brones

January 2, 2017 at 15:30

“Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed” – Benefit Zine

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Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed

In January 2017 (just in time for the Million Women’s March) my friend Caitlin and I will be releasing Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed. We are currently wrapping up the final design so that we can send it to the printer right after the new year.

No matter who we are or here we live, we must eat. Food is something that unites us. With that in mind, I wanted to use food as a catalyst for change. Protest Fuel is a collection of recipes, essays, artwork and quotes, all with the goal of inspiring you to take action, whether that’s by hosting a comforting soup night or getting out on the frontlines in a protest.

The zine itself is will be printed in January 2017 in Seattle by Girlie Press. All of the contributors to this zine have volunteered their recipes, stories and time, and for that I am very grateful.

I wanted this zine to benefit a cause, but how to choose? There is no way to choose. There are so many issues that are important right now. I have chosen to donate 100% of the proceeds to the Women’s Environment and Development Organization. When women thrive, so does society. Without the environment we have nothing. As one of the WEDO founders Vandana Shiva once said, “In nature’s economy the currency is not money, it is life.” I hope that this zine inspires you to choose life, to be active within your own communities, and to support the people and initiatives committed to positive change.

You can preorder Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed here.

Written by Anna Brones

December 29, 2016 at 16:57

This Week’s Stories: Textile and Coffee Waste, Sustainable Beer and Taking Action

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Here is some of my work published this week:

Coffee Waste or Product Potential? – This story was featured in the print edition of Fresh Cup but is also up online. “Wast is simply resources in the wrong place,” says Daniel Crockett of Bio-Bean. I love that sentiment, because it challenges us to rethink what we assume is, or isn’t, something with potential.

10 Fashion Brands Innovating with Textile Waste – Speaking of waste, I also wrote a piece on textile waste. Did you know that in just 20 years, our textile waste has doubled? Today the average American discards around 70 pounds of textiles per year, the majority of it ending up in landfills. Fortunately, there are some innovators out there attempting to do something with it.

Patagonia is Making a Sustainable Kernza Beer – Patagonia, long known for its apparel, is moving into the food space. I love their efforts in working to build a better food system, and the new Long Ale beer is just another example.

Food, Agriculture and Environmental Organizations and Independent Media Outlets You Can Give To – If you’re looking for places to support this holiday season (and places whose work is very needed in the current political climate), I put together a roundup of some food and environment related organizations and media outlets over on Foodie Underground. There’s also an essay about caring (which includes a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal pudding) if you’re interested.

And finally, these weren’t written by me, but I was happy to have Hello, Bicycle mentioned in this list of presents for women cycling fans, as well as this mention of Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break in Condeé Nast Traveller.

Image: Domestic Stencilworks

Written by Anna Brones

November 18, 2016 at 12:08

This Week’s Stories: Paris Coffee + Natural Dyeing

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Another week, another list of stories, including one I worked on last fall before I moved from Paris, and which finally made it out into the real world. In a print magazine!

Paris Coffee Revolution – My story on the specialty coffee scene in Paris is the feature in this month’s Fresh Cup magazine. But you can read it online too.

Are Self-Cleaning Fabrics in Our Future? New Research Says Yes – Did I say self-cleaning fabrics? Oh yes, I did. You might not have a self-cleaning t-shirt tomorrow, but research is leading us in the right direction.

Planting a Dye Garden to Make Your Own Natural Dyes – Kristine Vejar, author of Modern Natural Dyer and owner of A Verb for Keeping Warm, helped me put together a post on natural dyeing and five great plants to put in your garden that you can dye with.

Rice Pasta, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Hazelnut Parmesan – Another adventure-friendly recipe over on Adventure Journal. Super easy and perfect for warmer weather outdoor cooking.

Images: Kristine Vejar

Written by Anna Brones

April 22, 2016 at 14:19